Five RNLI lifeboats involved in search for missing microlight aircraft
Five RNLI lifeboats were launched last night (Thursday 9 June) from Larne and Red Bay in Northern Ireland and Portpatrick in Scotland to take part in an extensive search for a missing microlight aircraft.
The launch was requested by the coastguard when the aircraft was reported overdue at 8.30pm and a major search operation was put in place.
Joining the five RNLI lifeboats in the major search were the Irish Coast Guard Helicopter Rescue 116 along with a rescue helicopter from Prestwick and local coastguard teams.
Search conditions were described as extremely challenging as visibility was poor due to thick fog. Larne RNLI launched their all-weather lifeboat and D class lifeboat, Red Bay RNLI launched their Atlantic 85 and all-weather lifeboat along with the all-weather lifeboat from Portpatrick. The lifeboats between them searched a huge area off the Northern Ireland coastline before standing down the search after 4am.
It is expected that the search will resume again this morning; however weather conditions remain poor with heavy fog still present.
RNLI media contacts
For information please contact Niamh Stephenson RNLI Public Relations Manager on 00 353 1 8900 460 or 00 353 87 1254 124 email Niamh_Stephenson@rnli.org.uk or Nuala McAloon RNLI Press Officer Tel: 00 353 87 6483547 email Nuala_McAloon@rnli.org.uk
Key facts about the RNLI
The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and, in a normal year, more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.